The history of domestic violence, let alone domestic homicide, in Russia has yet to be written. This article focuses on the legal attitudes to domestic and especially marital homicide in early modern Russia and explores types of and methods used in spousal killings. The research is based on court records in addition to laws, legal documents and other sources. Its preliminary conclusions include assumptions about scale of domestic violence, gender of perpetrators and victims, main trends in domestic homicide and their connections with available explanatory frameworks. The study reveals that Russian households were violent places accounting for different types of assaults and homicides, but in all these acts women died more frequently than men. Marital homicide occurred in all social groups in Russia. Motives and methods for marital homicides were consistent with gendered theories of power relations. Penal policies also reveal harsher treatment of women than men, pointing to the gendered definitions of power disciplining methods.
The chapter gives an overview of the development of early modern Russian law. During this period, Russian law was undergoing a definite modernization which intensified in the seventeenth and, particularly, in the eighteenth century. The law became more rational, predictable and efficient. Russia actively engaged in codification and systematization of law, and that led to the more regular application of procedure and better lawyering. Russian law quickly adapted to the social, economic and political challenges, as it was under constant revision. Legal rules became more uniform and unvarying in their application. The Russian legal system grew to be hierarchical and bureaucratic, staffed by professionals via either practice or education. Due to these changes, the legal reforms of the nineteenth century allowed the Russian Empire to become a Rechtsstaat, although it was widely criticized and often even denied by contemporaries and scholars.
This article explores early modern criminal procedure and the emergence of a culture of appeal in the Russian system of criminal justice. It raises several important questions: Why did the appeal procedure not function as an ultimate guarantee of justice? How did Russian procedural law make appeals nothing more than the last stop on an ‘assembly line’, as a confirmation of a verdict rather than another court instance? How was criminal procedure connected with the political regime and a broader understanding of justice in early modern Russia? And what was then the ultimate goal of appeals that encouraged litigants to proceed with their cases to the highest court authorities? The author argues that Russia developed a so-called ‘appeal culture’, i.e., a situation in which individuals were willing to proceed with an appeal despite the quality of judicial decisions. Coupled with selective justice and a subjective understanding of fair trial, the appeal became one of the main means of acquiring a desirable verdict or, at least, of preventing an adversary from receiving such a verdict.
This is a volume of correspondence between Vasily Maklakov (1869-1957) and Mark Aldanov (1886-1957) that took place in the years 1929 to 1957. Maklakov was a defense lawyer, a member of the Central Committee of the Constitutional Democratic Party, a member of the 2nd-4th State Dumas, an ambassador of the Provisional Government to France (1917-1924). After the collapse of the Provisional Government he de facto represented various anti-Bolshevik governments, and later the interests of Russian exiles in France and other countries. Mark Aldanov was a writer and social commentator, one of the most popular writers of the “Russia abroad” and one of the leading Russian historical novelists of the XX century. The correspondence is a unique source on one of the least studied periods of Russian emigration – the post-war period. It contains information on the émigré discussions of attitudes towards the Soviet power, towards the Vlasov movement, and the problem of collaborationism in general, on the activity of various émigré political organizations, and about various prominent figures of the Russian emigration – Ivan Bunin, Alexandre Kerensky, Sergey Melgunov, Boris Nicolaevsky, and many others. The value of this correspondence extends beyond the fact that it is a wonderful source on the history of Russian political thought of the XX century, on the history and culture of the Russian emigration, and history of Russian literature. This is also a shining example of epistolary genre.
This article is about letters of Antoine Arnauld (1612-1694), eminent French theologian, an adept of the convent of Port-Royal, written in the occasion of death. Seventeenth century epistolary authors used to develop four consolatory arguments: reasons why we can expect that the deceased could be saved, idea that death isn’t an evil, the necessity to moderate one’s sorrow and, finally, the imperative to obey to God’s will. Our research showed that the originality of Arnauld’s letters is in abundant use evangelic images but also in the references to the important concepts of Augustinian thought.
This article investigates eighteenth-century Russian legal thought on the criminalisation of sex and sexualities in light of Western European scholarship on the same themes. It reveals the background to and preconditions for the transfer of knowledge and intellectual frameworks that structured societal understandings of sexuality and, at the same time, created the mechanisms of social and legal control over such behaviour. The study shows that the absence of developed Russian legal philosophy did not prevent the development of a criminal law with the same goals as more developed jurisdictions. Commentaries on and classification of sex crimes in Russia followed patterns familiar to Western Europe and used similar definitions rooted in Christian moral philosophy and canon law. The concern with the proper, rational and orderly development of state and society, central to the era, meant that laws relating to the criminalisation of sex and sexuality were not liberalised.
Introduction to the extensive correspondence (1929-1957) of Vasily Maklakov and Mark Aldanov, the prominent figures of the Russian emigration.